Mom turns flower arranging venture into a family affair

By CNU Intern May 13,2018

One of flower arrangements for a wedding venue (above) done by the team of “Flowers and Choir,” a flower arranging business owned by Jocelyn “Joy” Abellana – Ceniza (inset).

A mom’s passion for flowers paved the way for her to find her true calling to that of being an entrepreneur specializing on flower arrangement.

But it was not an easy journey for 54-year-old Jocelyn “Joy” Abellana – Ceniza, who has to go into the flower arrangement business by building it herself from the ground up.

“Kung mag-business ka, not only nga you know the business, kailangan naa jud kay passion. Kay kung wala kay passion, gawas nga you know the business, after a long run, makabati ka nga pul-an ra ka (If you go into a business venture, it’s not enough to just know the ropes on how to run it.

There should be passion. Because without passion, aside from the ins and outs of the business, in the long run, you would feel tired and would lose interest in the business),” she said.

Her business, which she called “Flowers and Choir,” involves decorating venues for events such as weddings, debuts, and graduations.

P20,000 capital

She has gone a long way when she started her business nine years ago with just P20,000 as a capital.

She has gained more clients — local and even foreign clients.

Originally from Talisay, Ceniza moved to Mandaue City, Cebu, after getting married.

She worked as an account executive where she learned marketing, costing and negotiating with people — traits that she also applied when she quit her job and set up her own flower arrangement business in 2008.

Ceniza said that she is hands-on when it comes to her business.

Nowadays, along with the social media trend, she prefers running the business online so that she can reach her clients who are from far places and she herself won’t experience much difficulty in traveling and spending money just for meet-ups.

Family business

Another thing that has made her business grow is because it has become a family business with her eight children assigned to do certain functions with regard to handling events.

Although she has passion for flower arrangements, what really drives her to succeed in her business is her eight children.

“What I earn from this business is what I use for my family’s daily needs and for the children’s needs in school,” she said.

As a mother, she always have to be there for her children and so as a way to bond with them, she found a way to include them in her business.

Working as a team

Now, Ceniza and her children work as a team.

Her eldest, Kristine, plays the keyboard for their choir, her second daughter Kazel is in charge in styling and wedding invitations, her third daughter Kyrah is her assistant in wedding coordination, her fourth daughter Kynah is also the assistant stylist and her son Klyde is in charge in technical things like carpentry.

Aside from that he is also the driver of the team.

While her fifth daughter Kayelle is in charge with calligraphy lettering and her youngest Klesly helps in cleaning and doing some other errands.

“Tanan nakong anak ni work with me kay naa silay sweldo. Ingon sila instead of hiring other people sila na lang kay mas molaban pa sila nako kaysa laing tawo (I pay all my children who work for me. They said that instead of hiring other people, why not them who are more invested in the business than other people),” Ceniza said.

This has made her children learn to save and to have the freedom to buy what they want with the salary they earned.

“We work together, at the same time, nagka-bonding mi,” she said.

Sharing tips

She also advised those who would want to go into the same business.

“You must have passion and what you do should come from heart. Aside from that you should also do research to keep up with the trends in this competitive industry and succeed,” she said in Cebuano. / Alexandra Mae Bustamante, CNU Intern

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